In call, Mattis assures Liberman of ‘unwavering commitment to Israel’
Times of Israel, Jan 27 2017
In one of his first acts at the Pentagon, ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis called his Israeli counterpart Avigdor ‘Yvette’ Liberman to “underscore his unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.” The Pentagon said in a readout of the call Thursday:
The secretary called his counterpart during his first week to emphasize his intent to advance the USraeli defense relationship and to protect Israel’s QME. He also spoke with the defense ministers of France and Germany, assuring them of the Pindosi commitment to the NATO alliance. Mattis and Liberman discussed regional security challenges in the Middle East and the need to create common approaches to challenges facing the region. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the US-Israeli defense relationship, and look forward to meeting in person in the future.
In Sep 2016, Pindostan & Israel signed a 10-yr $38b MoU outlining the terms and amount of Pindo ‘defense’ aid to Israel over the next decade. While Pres Trump has frequently vowed to support Israel, Mattis has in the past been critical of Israel, and of Pindo backing for Israel. Mattis has been a critic of the Israeli settlement enterprise, asserting that its continued expansion imperiled Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state. He told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in July 2013:
If I’m in Jayloomia and I put 500 Jewish settlers out here to the east and there’s 10,000 Arab settlers in here, if we draw the border to include them, either it ceases to be a Jewish state or you say the Arabs don’t get to vote, (which is) apartheid.
During that same conversation, he also said that Pindostan pays a security price with the rest of the Arab world for its support of Israel. During his confirmation hearings, he indicated that he believed that that Pindostan should treat Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital, not Jayloomia, because that was current Pindosi policy. He also expressed support for a two-state outcome to the Israel-Palestinian conflict “if it brings peace to the Middle East,” he said, while also indicating he is willing to hear alternatives despite his skepticism that another resolution to the conflict exists. “If there’s another solution, I’d be happy to hear what it is,” he said, before later stressing that Pindostan had a “vital interest” in the two sides reaching a peaceful accommodation to their decades-long dispute. Mattis headed CENTCOM under Obama from Aug 2010 to Mar 2013.